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After a week off from competitive play, the No. 18 UCSB women’s water polo team returned to the pool for the UCI Invite this past weekend.
On Saturday, after a 10-4 loss to No. 4 California, the Gauchos picked up an 11-9 revenge win against No. 17 UC Davis, a team which narrowly defeated them over two weeks ago.
In its next two games on Sunday, UCSB fell to No. 11 Loyola Marymount 8-4 before losing their final game to No. 6 Hawaii 10-7.
Santa Barbara now finds itself at 5-10 overall and currently in last place in the Big West. The Aggies sit right above UCSB in the standings with a 9-10 record and Cal improved to 12-1 on the year. Hawaii went 2-2 on the weekend and is now 8-4 on the year and LMU won three of its four games to improve to 8-4 as well.
Coming into their first game of the weekend, the Gauchos had their recent 14-4 loss at home to the Bears fresh in their minds. However, once again, they were unable to come away with a victory.
Cal got out to a quick start, shutting out the Gauchos for the entire first half until freshman attacker Brenna Thomas put UCSB on the board at the second-quarter buzzer. The Bears put in three goals in each of the first two quarters, heading into the half with a 6-1 advantage.
The third period was the Gaucho’s best offensively in the game, with sophomore utility Samantha Murphy scoring to open the half. Unable to stop the prolific Cal offense, though, UCSB conceded three goals for the third-straight quarter.
Freshman attacker Carly Christian came up with UCSB’s lone goal in the fourth quarter and the Gauchos fell with a final score of 10-4.
In the next game against UC Davis, Santa Barbara came out ready to play. Murphy scored an early goal to give UCSB an early lead, followed by a goal from sophomore utility Jessie Porter to give the Gauchos a 2-0 advantage.
The Aggies answered back with a goal of their own, but Thomas put away her second buzzer beater of the day to give her team a 3-1 lead heading into the second period.
Freshman utility Megan Linder and Porter each scored a goal of their own in the second, but Davis scored three before halftime to make it 5-4.
In the second half, it was the Jessie Porter show. The sophomore put away a penalty to open the scoring for her team in the second half before scoring four more goals, answering every push the Aggies made.
With just a narrow 10-9 lead, freshman attacker Jenna Solberg scored to make it 11-9 and seal a UCSB victory.
Porter led the way with a season-high seven goals. Sophomore goalkeeper Mackenzie Brokaw finished the game with four saves.
The Gauchos will be on the road this weekend when they play in the Cal Lutheran Invite. Their first game will be played on Friday at a time to be announced later in the week.
This article is an online exclusive and did not appear in the print edition of the Daily Nexus.
Photo by Peter Vandenbelt of the Daily Nexus.